Illinois issues updated holiday travel and gathering guidance

Illinois

(Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is issuing updated guidance to help people celebrate safely as the COVID pandemic continues.

“Last year, many people held off getting together with family and friends during the holiday season due to the pandemic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in a press release.  “This year, we have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect against severe illness due to COVID-19 that will allow friends and families to more safely celebrate together.  Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and family, and your community, but there are other actions you can take to celebrate more safely.”

Travel safety considerations:

  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated, or wait until you get a booster shot if eligible
  • If you’re not fully vaccinated, test 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after traveling
  • Travel during off-peak times to avoid crowds
  • Drive a private vehicle to reduce exposure to COVID-19
  • If using public transportation, try to travel during non-peak times.  Masks are required on/in all areas of mass transit

Guests and gatherings:

  • Keep indoor gatherings small
  • Arrange seating and other areas to allow for physical distance
  • Increase air flow by opening windows and/or doors
  • Avoid having people congregate, such as in the kitchen or at the buffet
  • Clean and sanitize the kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas used by guests

IDPH says people who are sick with fever, cough, or other symptoms should not travel or gather for holiday events. They should also get tested for COVID.

More information on COVID-19 Holiday Season Safety can be found on the IDPH website.

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